When I was 12, I happened to see a schoolmate playing percussion, and it looked interesting. I asked for lessons, and it felt right.
I love out-of-the-way, rugged places. For me, holidays are about the experiences, and the people, and the memories, rather than sitting on a nice beach getting tanned. I try to plant myself where I am and embrace what is there in front of me.
The thing about playing percussion is that you can create all these emotions that can be sometimes beautiful, sometimes really ugly, or sometimes sweet, sometimes as big as King Kong and so on. And so there can be a real riot out there, or it can be so refined.
I've kept a diary since I was 11.
Percussion is physical, as most instruments are. The body must function well in order to play the instruments well. Last year I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
Once you're in a particular country, and you're surrounded by musicians who are so adept at traditional music, you suddenly realize how much there is to explore and digest and learn and experience.
I think I can only help to expose percussion to all sorts of people. The balance between the lighter and more serious side is important.
And as I grew older, I then auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music in London, and they said, well, no, we won't accept you, because we haven't a clue - you know - of the future of a so-called 'deaf' musician. And I just couldn't quite accept that.
I often play on the cello-bass side of the orchestra, because I prefer the deep sounds. I can't hear the violins well.
Concerts have to be seen as a real event for which the aim is to try and feed everybody.
Scotland has never ceased to amaze the world with its forward vision, bold action and great educational institutions. Nothing makes me more proud than to promote this wonderful land with all its richness and diversity wherever I go.
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